Question: My wife and I visited some of the model condominiums in a project in Torrance recently, and we were fascinated by the gas-burning fireplaces and raised hearths, which we thought were made of used bricks. The salesperson said the bricks were fakes, but we've never seen any fakes that looked this real. We asked her what company made them, but she didn't know. I have seen Z-bricks (in fact, we installed some of these in our enclosed patio area), but these are different. Do you have any idea who makes these real-looking fakes?
Answer: There are several companies that make good-looking brick replicas, and some even use particles of clay to give them a realistic appearance.
The hearths and fireplaces you saw were probably constructed of plywood and covered with brick veneers, such as that manufactured by K.S.H. Inc. in St. Louis, Mo.
Their product is called K-Lux, and the half-inch veneers are made of gypsum and fiber glass in 4-by-8-inch rectangles that do, in fact, look just like used bricks. They are applied to dry wall or plywood or other smooth surfaces with a K-Lux brick adhesive that dries to resemble real mortar in either black or the usual mortar color. The adhesive sets up in about 45 minutes and takes about 24 hours to actually cure.